How can I establish paternity in New Jersey?

Ascertaining the father of a child has a number of benefits. The New Jersey Department of Human Services notes that in addition to establishing a basis for child support payments, determining paternity can also do the following:

  •        Grant the child rights to Social Security and veteran’s benefits
  •        Possibly provide health insurance for the child
  •        Give the family information regarding medical history

When a couple is married, the husband is automatically presumed to be the father. For an unmarried couple, there are several ways to establish paternity.

As the New Jersey Courts point out, when a man admits to fatherhood, there will be an Order of Filiation issued and paternity will be established. Voluntary acknowledgement of paternity can take place when the baby is born and the man signs a Certificate of Parentage. The COP may also be signed at a local welfare office or at a county or state registrar’s office.

If the alleged father denies paternity, however, there is legal recourse that either the mother or father can take. The court could order the father to take a blood test, or a simple genetic test involving saliva samples can be taken. Either parent may request the genetic testing.

The NJDHS reports that in a saliva test, both parents and the child will have to take the test. When the score comes back at 95 percent or higher, the man will legally be presumed to be the father.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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